EDEN, Thomas I (1571-1616), of Ballingdon, Essex

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. 30 Apr. 1571, o.s. of Sir Thomas Eden† of The Priory, Sudbury, Suff. and his 1st w. Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir John St. Clere of St. Osyth, Essex. educ. Jesus, Camb. 1587; G. Inn 1589. m. 20 May 1593, Mary (d. 10 Feb. 1656), da. of Bryan Darcy of Tiptree, Essex, 5s. (1 d.v.p.) 7da. kntd. 29 June 1604; suc. fa. 1614. d. 12 Jan. 1616.1

Offices Held

Capt. militia ft. Essex 1614-d.2


The connection of the Eden family with Sudbury began in 1516, when Eden’s great-uncle Richard, subsequently archdeacon of Middlesex, was inducted as vicar of St. Gregory’s, Sudbury. His grandfather, a long-serving clerk of the Star Chamber, was granted the former Dominican friary in the town in 1540, and sat for Taunton in 1554.3 His father was elected for Sudbury in 1589, and four years later settled the manor of Ballingdon on him, where Eden resided.4 Although outside the borough, Ballingdon was within the parish of All Saints, Sudbury, and consequently Eden retained his family’s electoral interest. As ‘Thomas Eden, junior’, Eden was elected in 1604 to the first Stuart Parliament.5 On 5 Apr. 1604 he was licensed to leave the House ‘upon some urgent occasions’. He was to return in a fortnight, but he left no further trace in the parliamentary records, and is not known to have sought re-election.6

On succeeding his father in 1614, Eden erected a pedigree in All Saints church, but he did not enjoy the dignity of being head of the family for long, making his will on 21 Sept. 1615 and dying the following January. He was buried with his father in All Saints church. His eldest son, St. Clere, was still under-age and consequently Eden’s widow had to pay £250 for the wardship. Eden may have been a puritan; certainly his widow was described ‘a devout woman who much frequented lectures’. His first cousin, and namesake, was returned for Cambridge University in 1626, but none of his descendants are known to have sat in Parliament.7

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. W.W. Hodson, Short Hist. of Bor. of Sudbury comp. C.F.D. Sperling, 208-9; HP Commons, 1558-1603, ii. 74; Al. Cant.; GI Admiss.
  • 2. Maynard Ltcy. Bk. ed. B. Quintrell, 33, 37.
  • 3. HP Commons, 1509-58, ii. 79-80; Howard, Vis. Suff. i. 6-7, 17-19; Hodson, 173.
  • 4. Howard, i. 17.
  • 5. E. Stokes and L. Redstone, ‘Cal. of the Muns. of the Bor. of Sudbury’, Suff. Arch. Inst. Procs. xiii. 287.
  • 6. CJ, i. 167a.
  • 7. Hodson, 146-8; Howard, i. 19; WARD 9/163, f. 216; Barrington Letters ed. A. Searle (Cam. Soc. ser. 4. xxviii), 34.